Sedona is a small city in The Grand Canyon State’s northern Verde Valley. It’s a vibrant land of red rocks, art, music, and film festivals, known primarily for its “vortices”, which are said to generate energizing, balancing, and healing energies. Whether drawn to the metaphysical or not, runners will undoubtedly be impressed by Sedona’s gorgeous and extensive trail network. With miles of paths through canyons, hoodoos, and streams, the area is a trail runner’s dream, but there are plenty of road opportunities for running in Sedona as well.
The neighborhoods of West Sedona are great for exploring southwestern architecture, while the Red Rock Loop Road and the Verde Valley School Road offer a great pavement surfaces without sacrificing views. The Bell Rock Pathway is a nicely kempt gravel surface for runners of all skill levels, but if you’d like to challenge yourself with a trail run, try the Hangover Loop, the Hiline Trail, or Airport Mesa. For an easy, flat run, create your own route around downtown, or the trails in Posse Grounds Park.
Notes: Try to run near sunrise or sunset to capture the magical light hitting the rocks. Be aware of the heat, especially in summer — go early and hydrate accordingly! Note for trail runners: The Sedona Running Company has a great list of trail run options in Sedona. And, for a unique running experience, try to catch Sedona during peak wildflower season. See this list of Great Runs routes in areas known for their desert wildflowers.
Sedona is a two hour drive from Phoenix. Although there are buses and shuttles, a car is generally needed in this area. Downtown Sedona is small and walkable, and the Verde Lynx bus makes some stops at major points around town.